I had a chest X-Ray a few days ago and just received my report from my doctor's office. I'm a 38 year old female and have been a smoker for the past 4 years. My report states that there is bilateral hyperinflation and bilateral apical pleural scarring. What does this mean?
My lungs are clear and pulmonary vessels and cardiac silhouette are within normal limits but the report states that I have COPD.
COPD is but one cause of hyperinflation (often in the earliest stage of COPD), the hyperinflation not otherwise being a finding of concern. For example, a more benign cause is asthma. “Bilateral apical scarring” is a common finding, usually associated with TB or a fungous infection in the distant past. Like any scarring, it poses no immediate risk. Very good news that your lungs are clear and the rest WNL. That bodes well for you (and your lungs).
Now that the suspicion of COPD has been raised, pulmonary function tests (Spirometry) should be performed to confirm or rule-out that diagnosis. COPD is characterized by obstruction to airflow in the bronchial tubes and destruction of lung in the advanced stages. Everything you have reported does not suggest that that is the case for you.
Either way, you would do well to try hard to give-up the smoking. Whatever is or is not going on in your lungs, the smoking will only make it worse and more rapidly progressive.
This could be a good turning point for you.
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